By Diane Tezeno
Over the past 20 years, Houston native, Fred Hoyer, has blazed a trail of success in the automobile sales industry through hard work and persistence. Named top salesman for two consecutive years in a four-state region covering Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Mississippi at Jay Marks Mazda dealership in Houston, Hoyer joined the Bayway Companies in 1997 where he rose from floor salesman to a leader in corporate fleet sales.
Along the way, his innate sales ability and commitment to offering top notch customer service garnered him recognition as one of Lincoln’s top salesmen in retails sales in the region, top 10 in the nation for the past decade for Lincoln retail dealerships and the no. 1 in lease sales for Lincoln dealerships nationwide.
In his present capacity as corporate vice president of fleet, leasing and community relations, Hoyer oversees fleet sales for four dealerships, including Lincoln, Volvo, Dodge Jeep Chrysler and Volkswagen and coordinates the company’s charitable and community giving efforts.
Hoyer is one of a small number of African American automobile sales professionals in the Houston area to rise to the executive sales ranks. It is a hard-earned accomplishment he is proud of, but is secondary to his goal to use his role to give back to the community.
His vision for giving back is shared by Bayway Companies owners, Darryl and Linda Wischnewsky, who founded the company and grew it to its present stature as one of the premier automobile sales dealerships in the Houston area.
The Bayway Company opened its doors in 1995 as a small family-owned business and in the past 15 years has built a reputation on providing premium customer service to its customers and giving back to the community.
“They are really good people who don’t mind giving and they are from Houston,” says Hoyer.
Wischnewsky, and his wife, who serves as the company’s vice president and public relations director, give thousands of dollars back to the community each year, according to Hoyer.
“I decide sales and marketing and make the determination of where we’re going to spend our money in the community,” says Hoyer.
Numerous churches and organizations have been beneficiaries of the Bayway Companies generosity, including The Bridge, the ROW, Fountain of Praise, United Methodist Church, Antioch, St. Johns, Downtown, St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Texas Southern and the Sickle Cell Anemia organization, to name a few, according to Hoyer.
“We host sickle cell parties and have given a lot of money to the local sickle cell organization,” says Hoyer, who has been named Man of Style several times by the Texas Children’s Hospital Sickle Cell Anemia Center.
Bayway also has participated in various golf and tennis tournaments, community blood drives, Go Texan Day Chili Cook-offs, Operation KidSafe, Keels and Wheels, benefiting the Boys and Girls Harbour, and more.
Hoyer recently arranged Bayway Companies participation as a sponsoring partner for MEGAeVENT, a five-day event, comprised of a job and college fair, awards gala and community festival, hosted by Bethel’s Place Black Chamber of Commerce, Empower Magazine and Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Service (DARS). The event will help to connect local employers with high school students with disabilities and college students, provide business trade-show opportunities for local businesses and honor top business, education and community leaders at a special awards gala and silent auction.
“I’m glad that Bethel’s Place has launched this Black Chamber of Commerce, that’s something that we definitely need,” says Hoyer.
Hoyer invites the public to witness Bayway’s community involvement first hand at the upcoming MEGAeVENT, to be held Oct. 29 – Nov. 2, on one of the ministry campuses of the Church at Bethel’s Family, located at 14442 Fonmeadow in Houston, Texas.
The company will display cars from its luxury line of vehicles at the expo and will host a food vendor booth with proceeds donated to the Bethel’s Place Black Chamber of Commerce and DARS. The company also will sponsor a table at the B-Excellent Awards black-tie, red carpet gala and awards dinner, honoring 11 top leaders in the business, community and education arenas.
In addition to the Bayway Companies committed record of community outreach and giving, the Bayway Lincoln dealership is one of three Lincoln dealerships in the nation to receive the Triple Crown Award (Lincoln Leader Award, Premier Club Award and President’s Award).
“Bayway has been recognized as a Triple Crown winner four years in a row and is one of two dealers in the country to win the award more than once for its outstanding service, sales, and service after the sale,” says Hoyer.
As a part of this commitment, individuals who purchase new vehicles from the auto group are provided with loaner cars when they bring their vehicles in for service and also benefit from free maintenance services for their vehicles.
“We take care of our customers. They call me and I jump on it right then and try to solve their problems,” says Hoyer.
The Bayway sales VP has developed a base of committed customers who still contact him when they are ready to purchase a new or used vehicle.
In an industry where many car salesmen have been known to take advantage of the customer, Hoyer stands by the philosophy of “treating the customer right.”
“I pretty much take care of people. If you’re making four to five thousand dollars on a customer, something is wrong. You shouldn’t treat people like that, because that’s going to come back to haunt you,” says Hoyer.
“We’re a buy in dealer. You know, you’re going to make money after market finance because the average customer buys things to put on the cars, so we make money that way,” says Hoyer, who often sells new vehicles for a couple of hundred dollars over invoice.
In addition to successful sales, Hoyer attributes Bayway’s success to the company’s history of corporate giving, a commitment and philosophy that sets it apart from many car dealerships.
“I think Bayway’s success is because they give so much. We just don’t say it, at Bayway we do it. People really appreciate and know when you’re giving sincerely when you’re giving from the heart,” says Hoyer.
He encourages the buying public to support the businesses that have a proven track record of giving back to the community, like Bayway.
“There are a lot of companies in Houston that are doing something for our community and we need to take advantage of that and give to the [businesses] that are helping and not always taking,” says Hoyer.
With the Black community spending an estimated half billion dollars annually in Houston on cars, Hoyer also would like to see more dealerships hire African Americans in executive-level positions in the automobile industry.
“We spend too much money for them not to have any blacks in positions of power,” says Hoyer.
Hoyer has come a long since his early days growing up as a youngster in Houston.
“I’ve worked hard to get to this point. I’m real happy, and I feel blessed. I’ve come a long way,” says Hoyer.
Specializing in sale of new and pre-owned cars, trucks and SUVs
12333 Gulf Freeway
Houston, Texas 77034
12353 Gulf Freeway
Houston, Texas 77034